Prenatal Yoga For You And Your Baby
By: Lisa Pedersen, LCSW
So you're pregnant and you want to bring your baby into the world in a peaceful, calming way what to do??? If you already know the benefits of yoga, don't stop when you become pregnant! If you've never practiced yoga before, pregnancy can be a great time to explore yoga - for you and your unborn baby.
In a prenatal yoga class, you have the opportunity to learn the yoga breath or "ujjayi" breathing. It is a very effective way to get oxygen to the baby and a great way to create space for your baby to grow inside your womb. To achieve the "ujjayi" breath, simply put the tip of your tongue behind your top 2 front teeth. While inhaling and exhaling through your nose, pretend that you're telling someone a secret. At the same time, allow your breath to sound like an ocean wave moving in and out along the shoreline. Continue to lengthen your inhales and especially your exhales, pausing in between. Also, be sure to start the breath from your abdomen, allowing it to expand, and allowing your inhalation to move all the way up into your chest region. On your delivery day, the yoga breath can help you feel really strong going into the childbirth experience.
Prenatal yoga students claim they had confidence going into the birth
and felt really calm at delivery time. Andrew Levinson, M.D., was
quoted in the August 2002 ePregnancy Magazine as saying yoga can help
"alleviate aches and pains
it can help
moms-to-be gain weight steadily, decrease swelling and maintain glandular
balance." He also said that "
yoga seems to help balance
mood swings, irritability, fatigue, etc." I have had several
yoga students attest to Dr. Levinson's comments.
Lisa Pedersen is a certified prenatal yoga instructor and the owner/founder of YogaBirthTM. She feels privileged to work with pregnant women and their birth partners (husbands, friends, etc.) both in her class instruction and through her labor prep workshops where she shows couples how to use yoga poses and breathing to birth their baby. She is also the founder and designer of the YogaBirth maternity line.